Call for Book Chapters – The Literacies of Design: Studies of Equity and Imagination with Engineering and Making

September 7th, 2017

Design. Though defined in different ways, it’s often recognized as a productive process that can be used to improve or transform existing conditions. As such, design can be a powerful and active tool for moving toward equity and social justice. In the context of engineering and making, people of all ages and backgrounds can use design to make life better on personal, local, and societal levels: from implementing household modifications that bring comfort to a family member; to envisioning new infrastructures that bring clean water to regions devastated by disaster; to evaluating, critiquing, and re-imagining technologies and systems that contribute to societal inequities.  

For this book, we are interested in studies that illuminate communication practices or literacies of design as it relates to the material world. Under recognition that the products and methods of engineering have been deployed in ways that perpetuate marginalization, we are especially interested in studies that explore relationships between literacies, equity, and engineering/making/tinkering.

We are calling for chapters that use original empirical (qualitative or quantitative) studies to offer insights, challenges, or extensions to current conceptions of literacies of design or design communication. These chapters may (or may not) address one or more of the following questions:

  • What are the communication practices of design? What are the literacies of design?
  • How can literacy-related pedagogies promote equity in or with engineering and making?
  • What is engineering/making for equity, and what role do literacies or communication practices play in this vision?
  • What research methodologies can illuminate relationships between literacies, communication practices, equity, and/or engineering/making/tinkering?

We welcome studies conducted with different participants in different spaces: pre-K children in home settings, engineers in the workforce, children and adults in makerspaces and museums, undergraduate engineering students engaged in service learning, or K-12 students in NGSS-aligned science classrooms, to name a few. We also welcome empirically-grounded theoretical papers.

We plan to market and disseminate this book to the following audiences:

  • Teacher educators and pre-service or in-service teachers in science education methods courses, technology/engineering education methods courses, and content area literacy methods courses;
  • Researchers in engineering education, technology education, science education, and disciplinary literacy;
  • Leaders in maker-spaces, museums, and other informal learning spaces in STEM.  

If you are interested in contributing a chapter, we request that a summary of around 750-1000 words be sent to Amy Wilson-Lopez, at, by 10/31. Please also feel free to contact Amy if you have further questions about the nature or scope of the book.

Thank you, and best wishes,

The Editorial Team

Amy Wilson-Lopez, Utah State University

Eli Tucker-Raymond, TERC

Alberto Esquinca, University of Texas at El Paso

Joel Alejandro Mejia, University of San Diego